Friday, September 26, 2008


As this is the last week building up to my marathon, I was preparing everything I can to make sure I get my targeted runs in.

On Wed after my hill runs (great sessions, 10 reps, legs are tired!), I got this text message from a friend:

I just learned that twins' dad passed away.

I was saddened when I read it. The twins are my university friends. We worked together in our last year in our program. We had a lot of frustration and a lot of laughs.

As each of us go separate ways, we continue to meet up every 3-4 months.

Even though I do not know what happened or met their dad, I was awestruck by the news.

Emails among us were quickly sent. The funeral was last night and we decided to go. It is on the other side of the city.

Yesterday, I planned to do a 10 km easy run. The plan was interrupted.

At the funeral, we learnt that the dad had pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed 8 weeks ago and it spread very quickly. As we look at the photos, I started to see that he is a great father. A father that loves to fish. Loves to be with his family.

My friends, the twins, were a bit shaken by this. I am sure I would be if I was in their shoes.


This morning at 4 am I got up. By 4:25 am, I was out the door.

A while back, Spokane Al posted a blog titled, what motivates you. Lately, the motivation of training seems to be getting the mileage under the belt, hitting certain Heart rate, run at certain pace for x minutes or do x number of repeats.

There was one thing that the twin said last night that stuck with me. One of them said, 'I cannot imagine what the parents will go through if it was their kid who had cancer.'

I had cancer when I was a kid and I do not know what my parents was thinking or feeling. I can be sure it is a mix of doubt, concern, fear and uncertainty.

I did the Toronto Marathon three years ago. Boy, it feels like a long time ago. And I can say back then I was a young pup dabbling at the edge of the endurance pool.

People has no idea why I get up at 4 am to run. And I even forget about that as well.

I get up to run because I am blessed with a chance to run. As simple as that.

There are interruptions in life..and sometimes they are a good reminder on what life is about..I am guilty of setting on cruise control and let life go...

My long run is broken into five laps of 6 km. I added 2 km for cool down so I can get 20 miles in.

My times were...

Lap 1 - 38:30
Lap 2 - 35:32
Lap 3 - 35:09
Lap 4 - 33:10
Lap 5 - 31:24
Cool down - 13:37 (a whole lot of walking)

Without realizing, I was doing descending splits. My last lap is faster than my first lap :).

All my key runs are done. This Sun, I will be doing a half mara with a friend. All I can say is that I am grateful to be out there pounding around....

Have a great weekend...


Born To Endure said...

Best of luck to you Cliff. That's sad about your friends dad. My grandfather was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer..and yes...he went very quickly as a very sad!

Thomas said...

Only 8 week! That's incredibly fast, and of course very, very sad.

On a side note, one reason why I do all my runs in the early morning is that this way nothing that happens during the day will interfere with my training.

brendaj said...

Nice reflections on the very sad passing of your friends' dad. It's always a good reminder of the important things in life.

But WOW on your split times. That's not just negative splits, it's sooo much faster!

ShirleyPerly said...

Sorry to hear of your friends' loss. It seems the lifespan of one who is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer is usually pretty short. Perhaps better than a prolonged period of suffering, though.

Wish you luck next weekend on your half mary!